PATERSON, NJ - While no one could have really imagined the magnitude of the global health crisis brought on by the spread of COVID-19, the Paterson Fire Department has, dating back to 2014, been preparing for the outbreak of such a pandemic.

Part of that preparation, the stockpiling of critical safety gear, was on display Thursday as Mayor Andre Sayegh authorized the donation of 15,000 surgical masks, 1000 N95 masks, “tons” of gloves, 500 digital thermometers, and 100 disposable stethoscopes to St. Joseph’s Health.

On hand to accept the donation were Dr. Nilesh Patel, Vice Chair of Emergency Medicine, and Janine LLamzon, Nursing Director of Emergency Department. Both expressed gratitude for the support they have received from the community with an emotional Llamzon adding that they, and their fellow healthcare workers, are “coming to work for you, we are here for you, we love you, we will overcome.”

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“Stay home,” she concluded, a message that has been reiterated countless times in past days as efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus have become more aggressive.

Referring to the respiratory virus that has caused three deaths in Paterson and sickened 122 locally as an “invisible but not invincible enemy,” Sayegh again expressed optimism that through continued efforts, notably testing and social distancing, as well as “courage and confidence,” the “war” will be won.

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